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Vol. 35, No. 11

November 2013

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Ministry to Millennials

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Revive the Church, revive the culture: One before the other

Leadership training helps youth go deeper

Fo Focus on Christian Higher Education H

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John Stonestreet

Amazing Grace Effort helps treat — and save — Ugandan woman By Scott Noble TWIN CITIES / KAMPALA, UGANDA — Grace was in bad shape. She lives in a village in northern Uganda filled with refugees. Some of refugees are reportedly victims of Joseph Kony, a leader of a guerilla group who was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Earlier this year, Grace attended a program in her village led by Christian author and speaker Betty Liedtke. “The program that I did, which I had done in the rest of Uganda last year at some of the churches we were at, was finding the treasure in our gifts from God,” Liedtke said. “Part of that has to do with the things we don’t see as gifts.” Liedtke gave several examples of those gifts, including her own struggle with breast cancer several years ago. “There was a young woman sitting way, way off to the side, and she stood up and through the interpreter she said that she had breast

Grace’s 9-month-old child visited her in the hospital in Kampala, Uganda, before her surgery.

disease,” Liedtke said. “She came around, walked around the whole group, stood in front of me, lifted up her shirt … [the disease had eaten away part of her chest].” Not knowing exactly what to say, Liedtke responded, “I’m so sorry this has happened to you.” See GRACE, page 2

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, helps distribute shoebox gifts as part of the annual Operation Christmas Child. Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

Gift of hope Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift comes full circle for Russian boy By Scott Noble

From left to right, Pat Levy, Betty Liedtke and Tabitha Kyambadde were the three Minnesotans in Uganda who helped arrange care and treatment for Grace. INDEX

TWIN CITIES — “We had never received a gift in our lives before.” That’s what Vladimir “Ted” Foreman remembers about growing up in Russia and the day he received his first gift. He was born in 1990 and because his parents were alcoholics, Foreman and his two sisters end-

ed up in an orphanage. “This was actually a state-run, government-run orphanage,” Foreman recalled. “Very underfunded, very poorly maintained, very run-down facility. We had one towel for 20 kids that we’d have to share every day, [as well as share toothbrushes].” Even though the building where he lived had 400 kids, Foreman felt a keen sense of loneli-

ness and hopelessness. “Trust was a huge issue, because everybody had been so hurt in their past that they couldn’t really trust anybody as a friend because they would be afraid of getting hurt,” he said. “Or you make a friendship, and they would just use you to benefit.” By the time Foreman was 9, he See FOREMAN, page 3

Good in the ’Hood reaches communities for Christ

Editor’s Note ...................... 4 For a decade early in his career, Morrison served as pastor of a church in Mora, Minnesota. That church, he said, was a place of refuge for “those who had been broken and maybe those who [had] almost been rejected by other churches.” He called it a church for “the have-nots, or the leper camp, in a sense. Not in a disrespectful way, but this church of about 30-35 people were literally people who came together because they love Jesus, [and] they had a past that was certainly not one that society was going to accept.” But Morrison and the church could love them and accept without endorsing everything in their past—or their present.

By Scott Noble Commentary.................... 4-5

Christian Higher Education Guide .............................. 7-9

Calendar ..................... 10-11

Community Briefs......... 12-14

Classifieds ....................... 13

Professional Service Directory .......................... 15

BLOOMINGTON — For the Rev. Shawn Morrison, helping others was modeled for him at an early age. His mother, who worked with the severely developmentally disabled, used to bring home patients of hers to eat with the family, not only providing the guests with sustenance but giving them access to relationships and community. She also took in people who needed a temporary place to stay or brief help. “She was training me up in the way I should go,” Morrison said, whether she knew it or not. Fast-forward to adulthood, and Morrison was not only a witness to his mother’s generosity but he has now incorporated that attitude into his life and ministry.

The Rev. Shawn Morrison (center) helps to collect footwear for food as a means of supporting the ‘Shoe Away Hunger’ campaign.

See ‘HOOD, page 16


GRACE… Continued from page 1 However, she wasn’t just sorry; Liedtke was determined to help. When Liedtke arrived back in Kampala, the capitol of Uganda, and met up with her mission team partners, she told them about 23-year-old Grace. Driven by compassion and their faith, the group determined they needed to help. Coming up with a plan The missions group was part of Minnesota-based African Missions Outreach Organization. Founded by Ugandan and now U.S. resident Tabitha Kyambadde, the group decided if they were going to help, they needed a plan. “When we said we need to help Grace, we had nothing,” Kyambadde said. “We were coming to-

ward the end of our [missions] trip and had spent all our resources.” Kyambadde added that they were unable to get her transported from Gulu to Kampala because the discharge from her disease was causing a foul odor. Grace’s village was eight or nine hours away from Kampala and medical treatment, and since public transportation was no longer an option, the group had to develop an alternative plan. While they were determining their next course of action, the group showed a photo of Grace and her condition to a doctor in Kampala. The doctor said that while it looked as if she had breast cancer, he couldn’t be sure until they had run tests. “But if you’re going to do anything at all for this woman,” the doctor told them, “what you do, you better do it fast.” Walking by faith With their determination set and the beginnings of a plan in place, the group now had to do the even more difficult part: raising the money to get Grace the care she needed. Once Grace was transported to Kampala, the hospital didn’t know if they wanted to admit her. There were many cultural differences— including language—between Grace, who is from the northern part of Uganda, and those who would provide for her care in Kampala, which is in the southern part of the country. In addition to those barriers, Grace is extremely poor, and hospital officials didn’t know if they wanted to admit her for fear she wouldn’t be able to pay her medical bills. Faced with this last obstacle, Kyambadde immediately called friends and supporters in the U.S.

Forum addresses new challenges to religious liberties Christian Examiner staff report SAINT PAUL — More than 400 people attended the Minnesota Religious Freedom Forum last month at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The event was hosted by Transform Minnesota, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the Minnesota Family Council and the national Alliance Defending Freedom. Designed for business and religious leaders, the Forum focused on how new laws will impact religious freedom. Workshops addressed specific issues, such as the religious rights of nonprofits and churches, and employment law for religious employers. Workshop speakers included local and national leaders, including Jordan Lorence from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Speakers at a noonday panel discussion represented Catholic, Mormon, Jewish and Evangelical Christian perspectives, including Fr. Erich Rutten, chair of the Archdiocesan Commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs; Dr. Christopher Barden of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Rabbi Joshua Borenstein, executive director of Torah Academy; and the Rev. Dr. Steven Goold, senior pastor of New Hope Church. Keynote speakers included Joe Infranco, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom; Michael McAfee, director of Faith Initiatives for Hobby Lobby; and Peter Dobelbower, who is the chief legal officer for Hobby Lobby. McAfee and Dobelbower discussed their company’s faith background and its

current court case against the federal government over their requirement to provide insurance coverage for the “morning after pill.” Carl Nelson, president and CEO of Transform Minnesota, said in a pre-event news release: “The right to religious freedom is one that both our country and our state were founded upon, but there has been an increase in hostility toward people of all faiths. This Forum was developed to respond to the countless questions our organization, and others, have received from Minnesotans concerned about their right to practice their faith.”

For more information on the event, visit

and asked for financial help. As soon as the money arrived in Uganda, Kyambadde paid Grace’s medical bills in advance, which allowed her to finally be admitted. Once Grace was admitted, Kyambadde, who was still in Kampala, would visit her often. Soon, more people stopped by Grace’s room— and they prayed. Eventually, Kyambadde said the entire hospital ward would stop by and pray, including doctors, nuns, security guards and others. While Grace’s condition was still uncertain, there were positive developments. “For the first time, life was different for Grace,” Kyambadde said. “There was cancer in the breast, but the cancer had not spread anywhere.” No one knows exactly how long Grace had breast cancer before it was treated, but some estimates put it at two to three years. Also, while the treatment was beginning to have positive results, including diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics to help with the infection, the hospital bills continued to rise. Kyambadde recalled: “After the first bill ran out, I said, ‘Oh my God, how did I get myself into this? Where is the rest of the money going to come from?’ I didn’t know because they had to run so many tests …” Right away, they needed an additional $800. Two days later, they had $810 from a church of 25 people in Minnesota. This same scenario played itself out several times, on each occasion the group not knowing if they would receive the requisite amount. “It was really a walk of faith,” Kyambadde said. “Every time I reached that point where I needed

money, I would call.” And the money would come. “There were several times when it was like if we don’t get money from somewhere, then I’ve got to put her on a bus and send her back to Gulu,” Liedtke said. “God came through.” Healing—physically and spiritually After the group returned to the U.S., Grace still needed treatment. But she is doing well. “Grace had a mastectomy,” Kyambadde said. “She was discharged from the hospital. She is going through chemo, but she is really, really doing so well.” Pat Levy, another Minnesotan on the missions trip, said Grace’s healing journey will take a long time. “She has a difficult wound to heal because of the infection that was in it before,” Levy said. “The healing is going slowly, and the bandages and the dressing changes are really critical to her wound care. So she still is receiving constant care from the doctors.” But she has hope, hope that was not there before. She also has a better idea of who Christ is, His love, forgiveness and healing power. Now back home in Minnesota, Kyambadde thinks back on this most recent trip and believes we often put strictures on God. When we do, we deny ourselves—and others—possibilities that we can’t begin to imagine. “I think we limit God by planning ahead,” she said. “We deny ourselves that moment of seeing God by planning ahead of ourselves.”

For more information about African Missions Outreach Organization, visit


FOREMAN… Continued from page 1 had tried numerous things to find meaning and hope, including cigarettes and alcohol. “None of those things really brought me any kind of joy, any kind of happiness,” he said. However, things were about to change in dramatic way for Foreman. In the spring of 1999, he was returning to class from a visit to the orphanage’s doctor. “I remember walking into those doors,” he said. “You’re not expecting anything. There are no holidays that get celebrated in Russia. So you don’t expect anything other than just walking in and going to your classroom, going through the motions of the day.” This day was different. As he approached the classroom, he could hear laughter and sounds of joy coming from the students. The noise got louder the closer he got to those doors. “As I walked into that classroom, all the kids were sitting there with an Operation Christmas Child shoebox,” Foreman recalled. “You could only imagine just the joy that I felt. I was like, ‘Whoa. We’ve got presents!’ We had never received a gift in our lives before.” Each year, Operation Christmas Child (OCC), which is a program of Samaritan’s Purse, partners with individuals, churches and ministries around the world to pack shoeboxes full of gifts and the gospel message. The boxes are then delivered to those in need around the globe. Since 1993, more than 100 million shoeboxes have been collected and distributed to needy children in more than 130 countries. The boxes contain simple, practical items like toothpaste, pencils, notebooks and other age-appropriate gifts. The shoebox Foreman received ultimately helped change his life. “I remember just sitting down with that gift and just opening it, and right away I realized like ‘Wow, somebody really loves me,’” Foreman said. “Somebody really cares about me. There is hope … now I knew that somebody truly loves me. The fact that they would take the time to pack this gift without even knowing who I am. It was just so exciting.” Unfortunately, Foreman didn’t get to hear the gospel message at that point. He came late to class, and his shoebox didn’t include a gospel booklet. But Foreman believes the Holy Spirit planted a seed in his heart at that point. “That gift … it just helped me carry on and helped me hold on and know that somebody loves me and that there is hope,” he said. Foreman particularly enjoyed two gifts from his shoebox: the SpongeBob toothpaste and a notebook, which he would use to write letters to his sisters after he was moved to a different orphanage. A couple of years later, while at this new orphanage, Foreman received a letter from one of his sisters telling him that the family might be adopted by a family in the U.S. “As I was reading this letter, I was just so shocked,” he recalled. He had hope again and thought this hope represented something bigger, something difficult to explain. “There must be someone behind this; there must be someone orchestrating this,” he said. “I didn’t really know God back then—didn’t know Jesus. But I could tell that there had

Vladimir ‘Ted’ Foreman received a shoebox gift when he was 9 years old. He now tells others how meaningful a simple shoebox gift can be.

to [have] been something so much bigger that was orchestrating all this.” Foreman and his sisters were adopted and arrived in the U.S. when

Foreman was 13 years old. His sisters were 12 and 15. He didn’t speak English well after he arrived, so new father and son would communicate using a

computer program: typing in English and Russian to communicate through a translator. In the back of his mind, Foreman still had questions about this hope, but he didn’t know how to communicate those questions to his father. On one day, Foreman’s longing to know more about hope, to ask his father about it, was especially deep. He learned that his father had prayed that same day about how to communicate Jesus to his son. His father would share the gospel with Foreman that day and while sharing, his father used the word “gift”—and it all just made sense to Foreman. “That hope that I felt was this hope of God,” Foreman said. “That hope that I felt was the fact that somebody loved me, and that person that loved me was really Jesus, who had given His life for me. That was the turning point in my life.” Foreman turned his life over to Christ and everything changed. Looking back now on his story, Foreman wants to tell those who pack boxes that their efforts are meaningful and life changing.

“First of all, I would say ‘thank you’ to those who pack boxes,” he said. “If it wasn’t for people who listen to God’s calling of being the hands and feet … if it wasn’t for those people willing to do that, I may have never [received the shoebox and come to know Christ].” Foreman had never received a gift before in his life until the day he received a simple shoebox, packed by someone many miles away who knew nothing about him. “It’s a simple box, but it gets used with God’s power in God’s name,” he said. “By His glory, that shoebox is able to not only just heal a child’s heart; not only does it give them hope and give them a glimpse of what it means to be loved, but eventually it leads them to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”

This year, the National Collection Week for OCC is Nov. 18 – 25. For more information on collection sites and the specifics of packing shoeboxes, visit what-we-do/operation-christmas-child.


What if? The phrase “love your neighbor” is used numerous times in Scripture, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The concept is deeply rooted not only in Scripture but in what it means to be a Christ follower. It serves as a foundational directive in all that we believe, hold to and act on as Christians. The idea of loving your neighbor is fairly straightforward: demonstrate compassion, care and concern for those you live and interact with. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes the concept—as He does so many others—to an even higher level. Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Not only are we to love our neighbors—those who in essence love us back—but we are to love those who do not love us. In fact, we are to extend this

love to those who even go so far as to conspire against us. Our “neighbor” doesn’t just apply in some vague proximity context, but in a far wider application. “Your neighbor” basically means all those who live around us, interact with us and those to whom we may not even know. They all are our neighbors. So many individual Christians and churches take this concept seriously and demonstrate its other-worldly impact each day. They demonstrate love to their neighbors by extending help, offering assistance during difficult times, lending a caring ear, or offering forgiveness even when none is required. These acts are wonderful demonstrations of the realworld power of Christ. However, wouldn’t it be remarkable if individuals—and churches, ministries, Christian businesses, etc.—extended this “love your neighbor” principle to everyone in their spheres of

influence? When many nonbelievers think of Christians today, it’s easy for their thoughts to settle on politics and the cultural battles that have—rightly or wrongly—become synonymous with believers. These caricatures are often damaging to the image and power of Christ. No one is attracted to a belief system that they perceive as being strict, uncaring and judgmental. The beauty is that Christianity is none of those things. So, what if the church in each community—or throughout a city or metro area like the Twin Cities—organized one day a year as “Love Your Neighbor” day? The day would be filled with acts of service to those in need, offers of assistance to those unable or unwilling to ask, and efforts centered around forgiveness and reconciliation. One small church, with 100 members, can have a positive effect on a community. Several

Editor’s Note: Scott Noble churches working together can powerfully impact a city. An entire metro area full of churches “loving their neighbors” could literally transform the area with the power of the Gospel. Several communities already in the Twin Cities practice some form of community service days, where they cancel worship services and minister in the community. These are great examples of Christ-inspired love. People are served, their needs

are met, and they get a chance to witness the actions of a people committed to Christ. What a wonderful invitation to the gospel. But what if we could expand these efforts to include an entire metro area—some three million people? How pivotal and life-changing could this impact be if thousands of churches gathered around a common theme—love your neighbor— and focused on serving others? We’re obviously called to live this way each day. But what if we could organize a day where the entire Christian church could demonstrate the love of Christ to literally hundreds of thousands of people? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful introduction to the gospel? Who wants to take the lead and start organizing? Be sure to check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@cenewsmn) for the latest news, opinion and contest giveaways.

Revive the Church, revive the culture: One before the other We talk a lot about reviving the culture, as well we should. But recently we were reminded of something even more important. An ever-present danger in doing cultural commentary is, as the saying goes, “to miss the forest for the trees.” I’ll confess: Sometimes instead of seeing the work we do as part of the larger task of the Church’s proclamation of the Good News, we can let cultural change become an end in itself. Case in point: a recent letter and article we received from a listener who asked a vital, yet often neglected, question: “Can the contemporary culture be led back to a Christian worldview without the church being spiritually revived first?” And the answer, of course, is “No!” So why don’t we talk about the need for spiritual renewal more often? Well, the truth is that most worldview and culture discussions proceed as if cultural

John Stonestreet renewal is, if not independent of spiritual renewal, only tangentially related to it. We talk a lot about reading the right books, mastering the right arguments and otherwise knowing what to say. And these really are important. But what’s more important is the disposition of our hearts. As my correspondent rightly

points out, “only a revival of faith in the living God can change the mood of society, and only a revived church can bring that about.” And history backs that up: The Wesleyan revival in 18th century England and the first and second Great Awakenings in 18th and 19th century America transformed these societies. As I learned in doing the research for my book “Amazing Grace” about William Wilberforce, the movements to abolish the slave trade and then to abolish slavery itself grew out of those revivals. So my correspondent is right when he draws a line between a renewed church and a renewed culture. While the latter won’t necessarily follow the former, without a renewed church the chances of cultural renewal are close to zero. If we don’t live as if Christianity is true, by what right should we expect our neighbors to?

Thus it’s incumbent on us to humble ourselves before God, to confess our sins, and pray for His forgiveness and direction. Again, this does not guarantee cultural renewal. But what it does guarantee, if sincerely undertaken, is that we will be living out our call to be salt and light. Some people might dismiss this as a kind of pietism that leads to withdrawal. Again, history shows otherwise. The impact of the aforementioned revivals was felt far beyond church walls. The French philosopher and historian Élie Halévy concluded that it was Wesleyan revival that prevented an English equivalent to the bloody French Revolution. Wesley’s followers not only ministered to the poor but they also fostered the creation of the kinds of elite networks, including Wilberforce’s, which promoted social reform. On this side of the Atlantic, the

abolitionist movement and many other reforms would not have happened but for the second Great Awakening. In his book, “What Hath Got Wrought,” what historian Daniel Walker Howe calls “the transformation of America” is largely a story of how religious revival created and fueled the reformist impulse. So my correspondent is right: A renewed church is the best hope for a renewed culture. I’m grateful for his insight, an insight born of long experience, because he’s a 92-year-old retired pastor and missionary. Please visit to read Bert Warden’s brief but spoton article “Only a Revived Church Can Revive Society’s Faith.” © 2013 Prison Fellowship. Stonestreet is the voice of “Breakpoint,” a radio commentary, formerly featuring the late Chuck Colson.

Stuck but not trapped Have you ever found yourself in a predicament? We have a lot of word pictures in the English language to describe being in a predicament. We hear phrases such as “you sure have painted yourself into a corner”; of being “caught between a rock and a hard place”; and being “up against the wall” or “in a pickle.” Someone has defined a predicament as being “a lawyer who specializes in suing doctors for medical malpractice finding himself in need of major surgery.” Moses and the people of Israel found themselves in such a predicament. The Israelites found themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s Army and the Red Sea. In Exodus 14:1-2, God ordered a change of direction, which to many of the children of Israel must have at best seemed strange and at worst risky and dangerous. “Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the

sea.’” The children of Israel were, in effect, asked to backtrack. Their course was to take a direction that in a very short time would place them with the Red Sea on one side and the trackless wilderness on the other side. And in front an insuperable barrier of mountains. They were boxed in; there was no escape! The Egyptians were on the way. God’s answer to the Israelites— as well as to you and I when we’re feeling boxed in—is found in Exodus 14:13: “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.’” God’s instructions for those who are feeling stuck are four-fold. 1. “Fear not.” He instructed the people not to be afraid. 2. “Stand still” might be better understood, “Stand firm”—reflecting faith and confidence in the delivering power of Jehovah.

3. “Watch.” Moses said, “See … what the Lord will accomplish for you today.” God does not need your help. You don’t need to fight; you need to stay out of the way. Just watch Him work. 4. “Keep silent.” “Hold your peace.” Often, the hardest thing for us to do is this, because we feel that we just have to tell somebody (murmuring) about the predicament that we are in. But the only one who can do anything about our predicament already knows; He is waiting for us to look to Him and be silent. All of these instructions are directed to natural human responses to panic. First, we are afraid. Second, we run. Third, we fight. Fourth, we tell everyone who will listen. God now speaks to Moses and says: “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Literally, God told Moses to stop

Terrance J. Rollerson praying and start moving. There is a time to pray and when we have direction, we need to stop praying and start moving. What I want you to know is that coming to the Red Sea is just as much a part of God’s plan as crossing it. A predicament in God’s hands is only a highway to the Promised Land. Why does God allow these predicaments to happen in our lives? Because it often takes these tight places to get us to look up to Him for our help. Like Moses and the children of Israel, you and I have

rubbed shoulders with folks in Egypt most of our lives. You work with Egyptians. Think like Egyptians. Read Egyptian newspapers. Listen to Egyptian music. Do commercial battles with Egyptian entrepreneurs. You’re in the competitive world of the Egyptians, so it’s only natural that you react like them. I want to remind you that you are not Egyptian, and you are not from Egypt. You are the child of the Most High God. He is able and has already planned a way out of your predicament. David says in Psalm 4: “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” The middle phrase in this verse— “You have given me relief when I was in distress”—could literally be translated, “In a tight corner, you have made room for me.” You may be stuck, but you are not trapped. God is on your side. Rev. Terrance J. Rollerson is pastor of The Compass Covenant Church in St. Paul.


What was Jesus’ real message? “Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan is a “New York Times” bestseller—and for good reason. Aslan is a brilliant storyteller. In Aslan’s story, Jesus grew up under the oppressive rule of corrupt Temple officials and brutal Roman overlords. It was a time of numerous uprisings by Jewish rebels and would-be messiahs who sought to overthrow Rome by force. All this helped to foster Jesus’ resentment and rage against the rich and powerful. According to Aslan, Jesus shared the anti-Temple feelings of other Galileans, and His preaching of the kingdom was “a call to revolution, plain and simple” (120). Armed only with zeal, Jesus was welcomed as royalty as He rode into Jerusalem and confronted the Temple authorities with His claim to be Jerusalem’s rightful king. As a result, Jesus was arrested and executed by crucifixion, which the Romans reserved for the most serious political crimes. So if Jesus’ message was a call to revolution, why don’t the Gospels tell the story this way? Aslan’s answer is that the Gospels were all written after the fall of Jerusalem by Christians who didn’t know Jesus and were trying to distance themselves from the rebellion.

They, therefore, revised the story of Jesus to remove the fact that He was a zealot. I found myself enthralled by the story and even agreeing in many cases. I agree with much of Aslan’s historical background material (though not always with his “spin”). I agree that most Jews in Jesus’ day opposed Roman rule and that some actively sought to overthrow it. I agree that Jesus thought of himself as Israel’s Messiah and that He envisioned a literal kingdom on earth. I also agree that Jesus was crucified by the Romans on charges of sedition. But while there is much with which I agree, my disagreements are far more significant. First, just because Galilee was a violent province before and after Jesus’ lifetime does not mean that Jesus grew up preaching a call to revolution. Imagine, for example, a book detailing all the violence of the civil rights era and arguing that Dr. King, therefore, must have been an advocate of violent revolution! Jesus’ peaceful message, like that of Dr. King, was “radical” because it was so countercultural. Second, while I agree with Aslan that Jesus believed himself to be the Messiah, Aslan seems to think

Dennis Ingolfsland that this fact must necessarily mean that Jesus was a zealot intent on overturning Roman rule. Aslan seems unaware that many Jews in Jesus’ day thought the Kingdom of God would be established by direct divine intervention, not by human violence. They need only wait and be faithful until God acted. Certainly the Essenes were one such group. Interestingly enough, Aslan argued that Jesus was a disciple of John the Baptist who may have been influenced by Essenes. Yet Aslan doesn’t even entertain the possibility that Jesus agreed with the Essenes in their view that the Kingdom would come by divine intervention, not by revolution. Third, the extreme skepticism Aslan brings to the Gospels is unwarranted. He argues that the only two firm historical facts we

can know about Jesus are that He “was a Jew who led a popular Jewish movement in Palestine at the beginning of the first century C.E.”(xxvii), and that this resulted in His crucifixion by the Romans. Aslan seems unaware that even most of the radically skeptical Jesus scholars believe that the Gospels contain more historically reliable information about Jesus than this. More significantly, however, although Aslan says “there are only two hard historical facts about Jesus” (xxvii), he builds his case on other facts in the Gospels that he considers to be reliable. It appears that Aslan is very skeptical of everything that undermines his theory but accepts everything that he thinks may support his theory. Unlike many serious Jesus scholars, Aslan never sets forth the criteria by which he determines what is reliable. Fourth, Aslan’s creative writing skill is one of the strengths of the book, but it is also one of the most serious weaknesses. Many readers will no doubt find it impossible to tell where the facts end and the creative storytelling begins. For example, when Aslan describes Jesus’ followers as “hiding in Gethsemane, shrouded in darkness, and armed with swords” and

adds that they “will not be taken easily” (147), the reader is led to imagine a well-armed band of resistance fighters hiding out in wait for the Romans. This impression is pure fiction. In Aslan’s view, the reason not one ancient source presents Jesus as a zealot is because they were trying to cover up Jesus’ true identity. On the other hand, a second possibility might be that the reason none of our ancient sources present Jesus as a zealot is because Jesus—like the Essenes and other Jews of His time—was not preaching rebellion against Rome but was proclaiming God’s direct intervention. Jesus was warning people to repent in preparation for the day when God would directly intervene in human affairs to set up His Kingdom. This second option is precisely what the Gospels teach, it coheres well with what we know about firstcentury Jewish groups, and it does not require extensive, speculative historical re-imagination. Dr. Dennis Ingolfsland is the director of Library Services and a full professor of Bible at Crown College. He is also an ordained Baptist minister and pastor of ValleyView Baptist Church in Shakopee, Minnesota.

Grace and grades: Seeing this issue through God’s eyes Misty anxiously told me about her seventh-grade daughter, Greta. “Her grades are tanking! She’s sassy and defiant most of the time! I know she is capable of so much more, but she won’t dig in and live up to her potential. I check her grades every day. I’ve withheld privileges, created charts, offered rewards and constantly reminded her. But it keeps getting worse. Our fights get louder by the day!” If this describes your battle, read on. When you’re constantly fighting with kids who don’t live up to their potential, we suggest a new approach, a new fight: the fight of faith to walk in the “fruit of the Spirit.” Consider this rendering of Galatians 5:22-26 when applied specifically to this issue (adapted from “The Message”): “When we address kids’ challenges God’s way, He brings things like affection, joy, and serenity. We develop a sense of compassion. We find ourselves not needing to force our way in life, able to direct our energies wisely. Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads, but work out its implica-

Jim & Lynne Jackson tions in every detail of encouraging our children.” When I first introduced this approach to Misty, she was not convinced. “Yes, I get that I’m supposed to be gentle and loving and all that, but it’s in her best interest that I’m firm on this, right? I mean, aren’t I supposed to be the parent?” My answer: “Yes! You are supposed to be firm. Yes! You are the parent. But being a parent isn’t about anxiously controlling your child; it’s about learning to firmly come alongside our kids as a model of the Holy Spirit: in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. From this place, we can operate not in fear

but in confidence. This is the firmness your daughter needs.” As we discussed the notion of firmly parenting “by the means of the spirit” (see Galatians 5:16), Misty’s countenance changed. Right there she began to form a new resolve. I could see it, so I asked, “What’s going on? You’re sitting taller and seem purposeful about something.” “I’ve decided to tell Greta that I’m not checking her grades until the end of the quarter,” Misty replied. “This is her life, it’s her grades, and it’s not a reflection on me.” Misty sighed. “I already like how this feels.” She left with a bounce in her step. Parents don’t often respond this way. I knew that even with this new attitude change, Misty might need a few more practical ideas to help Greta feel motivated, so I wondered how long her optimism would last. Two weeks later, Misty returned. She confidently reported: “God is changing me, and I have a relationship with my daughter again! I asked for forgiveness for so much nagging and told her my plan. I said that if she wants to fail she can, and I calmly named the privileges

she’d lose if she did. I don’t think she believed I was for real. “The next morning, instead of asking her about homework like usual, I just looked at her with a smile and told her I loved her and to have a great day. She came home irritated. Instead of anxiously asking ‘What’s wrong?’ like usual, I gently asked if she wanted to talk. She said no and scurried off. I figured she was on the computer doing her social media things, but when I passed her room she was on her bed doing homework. I left her alone. “I felt hope again. I felt free. Then it dawned on me. In the absence of my energy about her homework, Greta felt free too. Now the pressure was about her homework instead of about her anxious, nagging mom. In the days since, things have started getting back to normal. She asks for help and has opened up about her discouragement. There are still issues I don’t quite know how to address with her, but she has totally taken responsibility, like the old days, for her homework. And we can talk again. So I’m hopeful that the momentum has changed. It’s like the whole problem was about me and my anxiety.”

By the time Misty spent a few more weeks with these ideas, she reported: “Greta would now say I am much more flexible, relaxed and less intense. I’ve learned to see her more through God’s eyes of grace, and I tell her every day, ‘You are a child of the King! Don’t you forget it!’ And Greta is doing much better. Still lots of little struggles but normal stuff.” So if your child comes home with bad grades, try letting go of the usual battle and fight a new fight: the fight of faith to walk by the fruit of the Spirit as you come alongside your kids and help them feel responsible for their responsibilities. Whether or not you see a quick change like this, it’s the right thing to do! Author’s note: We are not suggesting that not checking your child’s grades is always the “right” method. For other practical ideas for homework challenges, visit www.connectedfamilies. org/?s=homework. Connected Families founders, authors and speakers Jim and Lynne Jackson have spent more than 20 years guiding parents to live by God’s grace and truth with their children.

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Ministry to Millennials

Leadership training helps youth go deeper said. “We fail to really give them all these tools so that they could examine any philosophy or anything that comes to them. [Once they receive this training], they are equipped to address that.”

By Scott Noble Part 2 in a 3-part series TWIN CITIES — When it comes to sending kids off to college, parents typically have several concerns. Topping the list are things like safety, security, health and a list of everyday items that become more apparent when kids leave the comforts of home. Another set of concerns centers around things like, “Will my son find the career that’s best for him,” or “I hope my daughter takes her studies seriously because it’s a competitive world out there.” For Christian parents, one of the most—if not the most—prevalent concerns is related to their kid’s ability or willingness to carry on in the faith. When kids live away from home—many for the first time—they face cultural, political, academic and religious challenges unlike those they encountered living under their parent’s protective roof. And while some parents are confident their kid’s faith will withstand many of these challenges, others are not so sure. Training youth in leadership Tentmakers was founded in 1979 and focuses on training youth in life skills and in Christ-centered leadership. In the past 34 years, the organization has helped train more than 15,000 individuals in a variety of programs and initiatives. When it comes to helping kids

Students who participate in Leadership Quest develop discipleship habits and leadership skills, as well as gain a sense of community among their fellow students.

traverse the challenges of post-high school life, Tentmakers provides several opportunities. Linda Praske, director of Leadership Quest (LQ), one of Tentmakers’ initiatives, said one of the obstacles that prevents kids from going deeper in their faith is they just don’t know how. “Sometimes youth groups have so many kids that they don’t have time to really give the leadership kids what they need,” she said. “And to challenge them enough. And they need more skills to understand why they believe what they believe and be able to articulate that.” When they don’t receive the attention they need and the oppor-

tunities to learn more about their faith, Praske said many of them “… can’t wait to get to college and just sort of be freed up to explore other things. Sometimes they just leave their faith entirely.” To try and prevent this last scenario from happening, LQ offers high school students—and recent graduates—an opportunity to develop discipleship habits and to cultivate leadership skills. The weeklong wilderness training program, which Praske calls “incarnational leadership training,” aims to help provide kids with “a godly confidence in themselves and in God’s vision for their lives.” The training, which is limited to a few dozen kids each year, follows five threads: relationships, discipleship, leadership skills, personal life planning, and developing Christcentered community. By developing these five threads, high school students can deepen their faith and thus prepare themselves for the challenges they will face when they leave home. Real-life training While the LQ training program is a week long, Tentmakers is developing an additional program that will expand its training for up to one year.

This new program will focus on high school graduates. “They postpone their applications to colleges and universities,” said Nata Krasnobaieva, project coordinator for Tentmakers. “They take like a gap year. They go through an intensive training. They start with a 40-day wilderness experience. They learn more about communication skills and worldview skills, personal life management and all the other aspects of a productive, whole-rounded personality.” After their training is completed, they would then move into a community, which would consist of four people. With full-time jobs and their own housing, the proposed leadership cohort would also provide training to a group of young people. The idea is based on the biblical Daniel, where a group of believers stands as a model and apprentice to younger believers, so to speak, in a challenging culture. Again, this initiative aims to equip young people with the tools they need in order to maintain their faith. “What we fail to do as a community, as a church, as a faith community, is we fail to teach them how to think for themselves,” Krasnobaieva

Listening With all the programming available in churches today, Praske and Krasnobaieva both believe that sometimes kids’ needs can fall through the cracks. However, these needs can often be met, according to Krasnobaieva, through something as simple as listening to them. “We have a huge gap between adults and youth in churches sometimes, and adults know their way, how things should be, and they sometimes don’t really bother to go and listen,” she said. “They have so many things to do and come up with all these programs … but what they really need to do sometimes is just listen, just come and listen to what the kids really need.” LQ and the proposed Danielinspired programs of Tentmakers hope to provide that “space” for kids to ask those challenging questions, the ones they might not feel comfortable asking at home or in a more structured church context. When those questions are asked—and the training and equipping provided—kids can develop not only the answers to their questions but the deepened faith required to stand against the storms they will eventually face. Becoming who God intended them to be When Krasnobaieva became a believer at 18, she said she went through a lot of transition in her life. She saw people who were very talented but who didn’t realize their potential. She wanted to say to them, “‘Don’t you see what [you] can do in this life?’ They just waste their lives. Sometimes it’s enough to have one adult in their life who can affect them and help them just open their eyes and see who they are and what they can achieve in life.”

For more information about Tentmakers, visit

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ACTS International Bible College

ACTS Bible College has been helping all ages, cultural backgrounds, and denominations lay biblical foundations for life and calling since 1986. With an emphasis on both Word and Spirit, ACTS’ variety of teachers and practical degrees may well be God’s answer for you. Affordable, personal, flexible—equipping from a One New Man perspective; a ministry of Way of the Lord Congregation.

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Higher Education

Bethel University 3900 Bethel Drive St. Paul, MN 55112 (651) 638-6242 Bethel University is a leader in Christ-centered higher education with approximately 6,600 students from 49 states and 31 countries enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and adult education programs. Based in St. Paul, Minn., with courses offered online and at satellite locations, with additional seminary locations in San Diego and on the East Coast, Bethel offers bachelor’s and advanced degrees in nearly 100 fields. Educationally excellent classroom-based and online programs equip graduates to make exceptional contributions in lifelong service to God and the world.

Crossroads College 920 Mayowood Road SW Rochester, MN 55902 1-800-456-7651 Undergraduate Admissions Adult Studies/Degree Completion Excellent Christian Community, Core Biblical Foundation. Crossroads College is an affordable private Christian college that has been "Impacting the world for Christ" since 1913. Crossroads’ attractive campus is located in Rochester, MN and specializes in preparing students and adults for vocational ministry. Our Adult Studies/Degree Completion program is Onsite, Online, On-Purpose. Flexible Class Schedule at a great value.

Crown College 8700 College View Drive St. Bonifacius, MN 55375 Undergraduate Admissions (952) 446-4100 • Adult and Graduate Studies Admissions (952) 446-4300 • Crown College is an affordable, accredited private Christian college just west of Minneapolis, that prepares students—online and on-campus—to serve and influence the world by placing a high value on being Christcentered, academically excellent and globally connected. Ranked among the Best Midwest Regional Colleges, Crown is also a member of the CCCU.

MissionShift Institute 1901 Portland Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55404 (952) 220-1315 Fun, experiential, visionary class that will change your life! “Teaching Christians to Build and Lead Cross-Cultural Ministries.”A collegelevel intro to reaching our new immigrants since 1995. One night per week during the school year. All adults welcome. Can be used for college credit. Internationally recognized, inexpensive, interactive — and Fun! Minneapolis or Brooklyn Center.

Patrick Henry College 10 Patrick Henry Circle Purcellville, VA 20132 1-888-338-1776 Patrick Henry College seeks to recreate the American collegiate ideal: education for truth, truth for leadership, all for Christ. We equip young leaders in a Christian classical tradition with our comprehensive core curriculum, centering all truth on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Hands-on apprenticeships cement classroom instruction in the areas of Government, Journalism, Literature, History, or Classical Liberal Arts.

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Rivendell Sanctuary 6820 Auto Club Road, Suite T Bloomington, MN 55438 (952) 996-1451 Rivendell Sanctuary is a New Kind of College, recognizing that true education is more than mastering content and receiving passing grades. Each component of our 18-month Associate of Arts program contributes to our holistic approach to education. By reintroducing the ancient principles of apprenticeship-based learning, we do not seek to develop honor students. We seek to develop students of honor.

Twin Cities Biblical Languages 944 Redwell Lane Apple Valley, MN 55124 (952) 236-9578 We specialize in the original languages of the Bible: the Koine Greek and the Massoretic Hebrew. Our curriculum consists of courses (mid September to mid May) in Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Koine Greek and Massoretic Hebrew, taught by Rev. Chuck Gustafson and seven associates at a variety of churches. Cost: students purchase their own textbooks. 25 years in service. Brochure available.



Christian Rock Legend

PETRA Petra 40th Anniversary Concert

Have your event listed FREE! Send us your Christian activity/event for next month, and we’ll list it in THE CALENDAR at no charge. The deadline is the 18th of the prior month. E-mail to or fax to 1-888-305-4947. Or you can mail it to the Minnesota Christian Examiner, P.O. Box 131030, St. Paul, MN 55113. We regret we cannot list Sunday morning services.


NOV 7 • THURSDAY (cont.)

The Oakridge Gallery of Gospel Art, “Parable” Exhibit. Mon-Wed 1-3pm; Sun 3-5pm, Oakridge Community Church, 610 County Rd. 5, Stillwater •

Sidewalk Counseling Training Seminar with Pro-Life Action Ministries, 7-9pm. Church of the Saint Paul, 1740 Bunker Lake Blvd., NE, Ham Lake. Free • (651) 771-1500,

THRU NOV 18 End-of-Life Exhibition: ‘Threads of Connection’ works by Deidre Scherer. Galleries of United Theological Seminary, 3000 5th St. NW, New Brighton • (651) 255-6138


Saturday, November 9, 2013 6:15 PM

Cedar Valley Church

8600 Bloomington Avenue South, Bloomington

Tickets: $15 Advance, $10 Groups of 10+, $20 Door

Order by phone: 1-800-965-9324 Order online: For more information: 612-298-6096 | Presented by Bluflame Promotions

Spirituality & Social Media: From Eager Skeptic to True Believer Fact Sheet with Mary E. Hess speaking, 9am-2pm. Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Rd., Edina. $75-80 • 10 Year Celebration of the University 4,000pipe Blackinton Organ with special guest Dr. Richard Elliott, 7:30pm. Benson Great Hall, St. Paul. Free •

NOV 1-2 • FRI-SAT Unarmed But Dangerous Conference with Twanna Williams (born w/o arms), Fri. 7pm & Sat. 9am. Sheraton Inn West, 12201 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka. $25 • (952) 688-2199

NOV 2 • SATURDAY Prayer meeting, for the bound & broken/ Revival of America, 5pm. Olivet Um Church, 3620 43rd Ave. N, Robbinsdale • (651) 285-6190 The Into The Light Tour with Matthew West, Sidewalk Prophets & Jason Castro, 7pm. Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Rd., Eden Prairie • (952) 926-1884 Crown College presents “A Musical Celebration Honoring Dr. Joel Wiggins,” inaugural gala concert, 7pm. Crown College Chapel, St. Bonifacius. Free • National Lutheran Choir 28th Annual Concert Series. All Saints – “Remember” with guest conductor Craig Hella Johnson & organist/pianist Bill Chouinard, 7pm. St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 900 Stillwater Rd., Mahtomedi •

NOV 2-3 • SAT-SUN “Children’s Letters to God” the musical, Sat. 2 & 7:30pm, Sun. 3pm. Lakeville Area Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke Ave., Lakeville. $15-18. Homeward Bound Theatre Company • (952) 985-4640,

Holiday Craft Boutique, 9am-3pm. Bethesda Lutheran Church, 2855 E. 47th St., Inver Grove Heights • (651) 451-1355, Christian Songwriters Workshop, 2pm. 1139 Payne Ave., St. Paul. Free. By MN Association of Christian Songwriters • 40th Anniversary Concert with Petra, 6:15pm. Cedar Valley Church, 8600 Bloomington Ave. S, Bloomington. $1520. By Bluflame Promotions • 1-800965-9324,

NOV 10 • SUNDAY Hope Christian Church’s 13th Annual Concert Series featuring John Gorka, 6pm. 4911 Hodgson Rd., Shoreview. $7 • (651) 486-6243, JCTV Concert Tour with Press Play, Manic Drive & Silverline, 7pm. Horizons Church, 1503 157th Ave. NE, Ham Lake. $13-35 • (763) 413-7210,

NOV 13 • WEDNESDAY Fellowship of Christian Business & Professional Women, luncheon. 11:30am1pm, The Women’s Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis, $25-30 • (763) 536-8055

NOV 14 • THURSDAY Artist Talk with Megan Vossler, 6pm. Bethel University’s Eastlund Room, Reception to follow in Johnson Gallery. Her work “Privatopia” will be on display • (651) 638-6527 South Central Youth for Christ Fundraising Banquets, 12noon & 7:15pm. Wedgewood Cove, 2200 W. 9th St., Albert Lea • reservations (507) 402-2313 “Sound of Music” performance. Thu-Sat. 7pm, Sat. 1pm, & Sun. 3pm. The College of Fine Arts, North Central University, Small Chapel. $12-15 •

“Personal Finances” life-skill seminar with Bill Johnston speaking, 6:30pm. Frontier Fellowship, 1139 Payne Ave. St. Paul. Free • (651) 283-5116

American Swedish Institute presents The Salem String Band in concert, directed by Gary Schwartz, 12noon-2:30pm. 2600 Park Ave. S, Mpls • (952) 236-9578



Sunday, December 15, 2 p.m.

Support group for women, a safe place to share struggles as we learn to live in a fallen world, Wednesdays, 6:30pm. Caribou Coffee, 3100 White Bear Ave., Maplewood • (651) 777-9246

presented by


NOV 14-17 • THU-SUN


Reserved Seating: $22.25, Group rate (10+): $17.25; At-the-door: $27.25

Fallout Benefit Concert, Fallout Urban Art Center, Minneapolis. By Source Ministries and the Annex Network •

National Lutheran Choir 28th Annual Concert Series. All Saints – “Remember” with guest conductor Craig Hella Johnson & organist/pianist Bill Chouinard, 4pm. St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 County Rd 6, Plymouth •


For tickets, call 651-638-6333 or visit

Single Parent Christian Fellowship, monthly social, 6:30pm. Faith Presbyterian Church, Minnetonka • (651) 649-4525, (612) 866-8970


Support group for women, a safe place to share struggles as we learn to live in a fallen world, Mondays, 6:30pm. Stillwater Library, Stillwater • (651) 777-9246

Benson Great Hall @ Bethel University in St. Paul


NOV 7 • THURSDAY 6th Annual Prayer Breakfast with Phil Downer, keynote speaker, 7-8:45am. Prom Center, 484 Inwood Ave., Oakdale. Various costs, bring items for food shelf. By MN Prayer Breakfast Network, Inc. • (651) 735-0113 ELEVATE, Annual Shine in the World Int’l Ministries (SWIM) Benefit with music by Mark Beth Carlson & Ben Utecht, 6:30pm. Hazeltine National Golf Club, 1900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chaska •


Ignite Conference 2013 featuring Lincoln Brewster, Angi Putney, Unified Twin Cities Worship Band in concert. Matt Brown, Roger Coles, Luke Frederick & Anthony Bass speaking, 10am-9pm. University of Northwestern, Maranatha Hall, 3003 Snelling Ave. N, St. Paul • (651) 6315151, Good News for Israel Fall Conference with Barrie Schwortz & Dr. Craig A. Evans speaking. Special music guest Barry Segal. 12:30pm. Emmaus Church, 8443 2nd Ave S, Bloomington. Seating is limited. Freewill offering • Fit for a King: Singers in Accord performs Handel’s “Coronation Anthems” with Matthew Mehaffey, 7:30pm. Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave., St. Paul. $10-30 • (612) 597-5483,

NOV 17 • SUNDAY Fit for a King: Singers in Accord performs Handel’s “Coronation Anthems” with


NOV 17 • SUNDAY (cont.)


Matthew Mehaffey, 3pm. Gethsemane Episcopal Church, 905 4th Ave., S, Mpls. $10-30 •

Source Fall Banquet, North Heights Lutheran Church, Arden Hills • sourcemn. org

Power of Forgiveness in Healing Seminar with Dr. Robert Albers speaking, 5-8pm. Servant of Christ Lutheran Church, Champlin. Free • (763) 427-5070, kimm@


NOV 18 • MONDAY Prayer & Healing Ser vice, 6:30pm. Calvary Lutheran Church, 7520 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valley • (763) 5455659, Hope for Parents “Managing Meals with a Chaotic Calendarâ€? with Becky Danielson speaking, 7pm. Hope Lutheran Church, 5728 Cedar Ave., Mpls. Free • (612) 827-2655,

NOV 18-19 • MON-TUE “Counselâ€? Sharpening your care-giving skillsâ€? seminar with Tiger McLuen & Kevin Harrington speaking. $225. By Youth Leadership •

NOV 18-25 National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child, Shoebox Gifts. Donations of gift-filled shoeboxes + $7/box for shipping. Various drop off locations •

NOV 19 • TUESDAY The Frontier East Side Equipping Center hosts Life Skills seminar with Bill Johnston speaking, 6:30pm. 1139 Payne Ave., St. Paul • (651) 283-5116, info@ Twin Cities Creation Science Assoc. “Global Warming,â€? with Bob Bonahoom, University of Northwestern, 3003 North Snelling, Roseville, Totino Fine Arts Center, Room F2128 •

NOV 21 • THURSDAY MACFM Monthly Meeting, “The Learning Curveâ€? with a panel of Church Facilities Managers. Evergreen Community Church, Bloomington •

NOV 21-24 • THU-SUN “Sound of Musicâ€? performance. Thu-Sat. 7pm, Sat. 1pm, & Sun. 3pm. The College of Fine Arts, North Central University, Small Chapel. $12-15 •

Prayer & Fellowship meeting, 2pm. Minnesota Miracles Ministry, 11106 Sunset Trail, Plymouth. Free • (763) 544-7700,

NOV 26 • TUESDAY KKMS Clean Comedy Night with Triple Espresso, 7:30pm. $22.50 •

NOV 27 • WEDNESDAY Community Thanksgiving Service, 7pm. Calvary Lutheran Church, 7520 Golden Valley Rd., Golden Valley. Bring nonperishable food item or bag of groceries for donation • (763) 545-5659, calvary. org/thanksgiving

a gift of peace and promise Mary Beth Carlson and Guest Musicians


Friday, Dec. 13, 7:30pm

KKMS “Women in Ministryâ€? event, featuring Jaci Velasquez, 11am-1pm. Embassy Suites Mpls Airport. Free (women in ministry leadership) •

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church

KKMS Concert with Jaci Velasquez, 7pm. Edinbrook Church, Brooklyn Park. $15-25 •

DEC 6-15 It’s A Wonderful Life. North Heights Lutheran Church, Arden Hills. Various costs • (651) 797-7071, (651) 797-7072

DEC 8-31 The Oakridge Gallery of Gospel Art, “Gloria in Excelsis Deoâ€? Exhibit. Mon-Wed 1-3pm; Sun 3-5pm, Oakridge Community Church, 610 County Rd. 5, Stillwater •

DEC 13 • FRIDAY The Oakridge Gallery of Gospel Art, Opening Reception, 5:30-7pm. Oakridge Community Church, 610 County Road 5, Stillwater • Mary Beth Carlson’s Annual Christmas Concer t with special guests Diane Tremaine, Mark Henderson, Justin Knoepfel & more, 7:30pm. St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 9201 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. $16 • (952) 9342319,

DEC 13-14 • FRI-SAT

Triple Espresso, a highly caffeinated comedy. The Music Box Theatre, 1407 Nicollet Ave., Mpls • (612) 874-1100,

6th Annual MN Adult & Teen Challenge Christmas Concert featuring Bebo Norman, 7pm. Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Rd., Eden Prairie. $10-25, $75 limited seats + meet/greet • christmas



The Glorious Unfolding Tour with Steven Curtis Chapman, Laura Story & Jason Gray in concert, 7pm. Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Rd., St. Cloud • (320) 251-4825

Experience Christmas with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound in concert, 2pm. Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, St. Paul. $15-25. By Music for the Master • (651) 638-6333,

NOV 21-JAN 19

The Christmas Treasure‌

9201 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington




Worship artist to release debut album TWIN CITIES — Lauren Becker, a contemporary Christian worship artist, recently released the single “The Son My Father Sent,� which is from her debut album “Total Abandonment.� The album will be released Nov. 19. “I am so excited for people to hear this album,� Becker said in a statement. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and I can’t wait to see how God chooses to use this music for His glory.� For more information about Becker and her music, visit www.facebook. com/

Facility group to address ‘learning curve’ BLOOMINGTON — The Minnesota Association of Church Facility Managers will hold its next monthly meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21 at Evergreen Community Church in Bloomington. This month’s meeting will include a panel discussion

on “The Learning Curve.� The group meets monthly for fellowship, networking, professional development and resource sharing. The membership is from a broad spectrum of church facilities, from large campuses with several staff members to small congregations with volunteer custodians. For more information on the group and its monthly meetings, visit

Construction accident at church takes life MAPLEWOOD — A construction accident at the St. Paul Hmong Alliance Church resulted in the death of a crane operator last month. According to the St. Paul “Pioneer Press,� 34-year-old Cory Lewellin of Ogilvie was trapped inside the cabin of the crane after it toppled. In a statement on the church website, the Rev. Chong Lee said: “Yesterday [10/21/13] at about 12 noon, a construction accident occurred at St. Paul Hmong Alliance Church. The crane that was used to

lift the heavy precast and cement building pieces tipped over on its side. The operator of the crane, Cory Lewellin [was rescued and rushed to the hospital, but] did not survive the crash. “We want to let the community know that St. Paul Hmong Alliance church, along with its leaders and members are very sad that this accident occurred. We want to extend our condolence[s] to Mr. Lewellin’s family. We want to let Mr. Lewellin’s family know that we are praying for you—that God may give you peace and strength during this very difficult moment. Please know that you will continue to be in our prayers.�

Church to host healing Phil Downer to keynote service and community Oakdale prayer breakfast Thanksgiving event OAKDALE — Attorney, author and speaker Phil Downer will serve as the keynote speaker at the sixth annual Oakdale – Lake Elmo Area prayer breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 a.m. The event will be held at the Prom Center in Oakdale. City officials from surrounding


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Liberty Bible College & Seminary Grace Seventh Day Baptist Church

A Baptist Church with a Difference! We are small but ready to grow UĂŠ/Ă€>`ÂˆĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜>Â?ĂŠĂœÂœĂ€ĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂŤĂŠĂƒiĂ€Ă›ÂˆViĂƒ UĂŠiÂ?Â?ÂœĂœĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂŤĂŠÂ“i>Â?ĂŠ>vĂŒiÀÊi>VÂ…ĂŠĂƒiĂ€Ă›ÂˆVi

communities will attend and participate, and Gwen Budish and the Tartan Choir will provide music. According to organizers: “This ecumenical event is patterned after the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington D.C., and is designed as a time of prayer for our city, state and nation, our leaders, and as a time of rededication of individuals to God. As we approach a season of thanksgiving, let’s also remember our service men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.� For more information, call (651) 735-0113.

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Services every Saturday 10 AM to about 11:15 AM We meet at Emmaus Lutheran Church, 8443 2nd Ave. South, Bloomington Call 952-432-7490 or visit our website for more information:

Come celebrate Christ on Sabbath Grace is a branch church of Dodge Center 7th Day Baptist and the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, Janesville, WI

GOLDEN VALLEY — Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley will host a prayer and healing service on Monday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. The free event is designed for those facing challenges or difficulties in life. For more information on the event, visit or call (763) 231-2983. Calvary Lutheran Church is also hosting a community Thanksgiving service on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7:00 p.m. The service is “a time for everyone throughout the community to gather in thanks and friendship; free dessert, cider and coffee will follow the service,� according to a statement from organizers. “Bring a non-perishable food item or bag of groceries for donation to local food shelves.� For more information about the free event, visit thanksgiving or call (763) 545-5659.

Special guest featured at single parent group RICHFIELD — The Single Parent Christian Fellowship will hold its monthly social on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka. This month’s event will include special guest Ken Lundquist, who is a leader with the Uplifters, a support group at Wooddale Church for those facing loss because of separation or divorce, the death of a spouse, or the breakup of a long-

term relationship. The monthly event will include a potluck meal as well as volleyball and other games. Those who attend are encouraged to bring a dish to share, paper products and a beverage. The group also hosts a weekly volleyball time from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Locations vary, so for more information on the group, the monthly potluck or its volleyball locations, call (612) 866-8970 or its hotline at (651) 649-4525.

Artist to give talk at Bethel University SAINT PAUL — Megan Vossler will give an artist’s talk at Bethel University’s Eastlund Room on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Johnson Gallery. Her exhibit, “Privatopia� will be on display in the gallery until Dec. 20. An announcement from the University described the exhibit as “an exploration of the balances of power—both actual and invented—between human beings and the natural world.� Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, call (651) 638-6527 or visit galleries.

Church to host ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ ARDEN HILLS — North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills will host “It’s a Wonderful Life— the Musical� Dec. 6 – 15. “True to the original movie, this musical adaptation of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a family-friendly show that features great music, dancing, and of course, the story that has captured so many hearts, now with a gospel message,� according to an announcement on the church’s website. A dinner theater option is available on Friday and Saturday nights. Ticket prices vary, so for more information on the musical or to purchase tickets, visit arts/productions/its-a-wonderfullife. For individual tickets, call (651) 797-7071; for group tickets (20 or more), call (651) 797-7072.

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DONATE YOUR CAR Conference aims to ‘recharge’ your ministry BROOKLYN PARK — Grace Fellowship in Brooklyn Park will host “Recharge: A conference for people ministering to children, youth and families,” on Saturday, Jan. 11. The event, sponsored by Youth Leadership, will include a variety of workshops, including “Ministry to Teenage Girls”; “Stepping Out of the Way so Teens Can Lead”; “How to Survive and Thrive in Ministry”’ and “Ministry to a Fatherless Generation.” Keynote speakers include Rich

Van Pelt, president of Youth Ministry Without Borders and director of Ministry Relationships for Compassion International; and Cassie Nault, pastor at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in West St. Paul. Early-bird registration ends Nov. 15. For more information or to register, visit or call (651) 484-9400.

Group looking for musicians TWIN CITIES — Our Melody Moments, a Christian-based min-

istry that performs for seniors around the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin, is looking to add to its stable of singers and musicians. By the end of 2013, the group will have performed at more than 200 establishments—after gaining its nonprofit status in January of this year. The group performs many standards from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, songs that many seniors recognize. For more information on the group or to discuss joining Our Melody Moments, call (715) 5310264.


You can help make a difference in the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth. All of your donation will sponsor a scholarship program to help send children to summer camp. Camp Compassion is a local, faithbased ministry that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children from the Twin Cities.

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Lakeshore Home on beautiful Prior Lake: A quiet retreat. Three bedrooms, two baths, office, one car garage. Completely finished lower level with laundry, recreation room and walkout to the lake. Sandy beach, dock, level yard and sunsets. Christian, nonsmoker(s), no pets. Furnished or unfurnished. Rent is $1,700 plus utilities. Call (952) 445-2544.

Brooklyn Center. Female to share with same, beautiful townhome on quiet creek. Two large bedrooms, own bath and patio, garage. Available August, $450+ 1/2 utilities. Vicki (763) 560-7710.



Application deadline Nov. 15th

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Cozy one bedroom, near lite rail, mall, YMCA, aldis, bus, security bldg., off street parking. (612) 2428167 or (612) 242-5475. $675/month.

MUSIC Christian songwriters wanted. Beginners, advanced, worship album, concerts, meetings.

REAL ESTATE - VACATION Lake Home. Summer or year-round. 58 wooded acres, 1/2 mile shore. Hunt, fish, swim. A/C, garage with bunkhouse, playhouse. Near Namakogen. Snowmobile trails. (763) 315-1106.


Bankruptcy or Immigration Paralegal. Training, certificate & placement. $395. (626) 552-2885.

FOR SALE-AUTOS Lower/cost used cars 4-sale. Office (651) 5547074, after 3pm (651) 398-7388.


Coon Rapids. Wanted Christian male, 25-40 years old. Share home with two other Christian men. Rent $400 to $600. Call Ken (763) 717-2360.

Christian male to rent lower level. Three modest sized rooms partially furnished with private 3/4 bath in Crystal. Newly renovated. Off street parking. $525/month includes utilities. Available October 1st. Call Steve @ (763) 533-9206. Email:

Own a computer? Put it to work! Up to $1,500 to $7,500/month. PT/FT. Free info.

Richfield, Christian female to share my home. No smoking, pets. Your own bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedroom. $580 + deposit, all utilties included (no cable). Available Nov. 1, 2013. Call (612) 869-8042,

Team building and Challenge course facility in Jordan MN seeks part time staff. Love of outdoors, adventure and encouraging people. 18+, first aid a plus, Please call Duane at (952) 292-1143 or email

Blaine Clubwest Townhouse. Christian female, private upstairs, 2 bedrooms, own bath, LR, garage, laundry, kitchen, patio, internet, utilities paid, no pets, furnished. Carol $600/month, (763) 360-2007.

Wanted. Live-In Caregiver for woman. Room and board provided with some wages also. (651) 4901602. Leave message.

For most any HOME REPAIR call Jerry 952-426-2044


Referrals available upon request

SERVICES Plumbing Systems, Inc. Specializing in residential service and remodeling. Licensed bonded insured 29 years. Anything with the plumbing in your house. Please call (612) 986-7442, ask for Kris. Residential and Investment Real Estate Services. Helping families since 2003. Century 21 Pastrana Realty. Please call Christine at (612) 750-6220.

Mn Adult & Teen Challenge Ministry Employment Opportunities

For almost 30 years, MnTC has been restoring hope to teens and adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. We have shorter-term and long-term programs that allow us to effectively serve individuals with a broad spectrum of addiction issues.

VACATION RENTALS 5-Star Condo/Timeshare in Branson for rent. 1 week, 2BR 2BA, Full Kit, W&D, elevator, near shows, Thousand Hills Golf, ideal for 2 couples. Avail Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2013. Pictures available. Contact 612-210-5882,

VACATION/RETREAT RENTALS The Wilderness Fellowship is a four-season Christian Camping & Retreat Center, which provides a place of retreat and refreshment that fosters Godly intimacy. Facilities include: Personal prayer retreat cabins tucked in the woods, Group/Family cabins, small retreat center, large meeting hall and several campsites. 244 acres, trails, hiking, sliding, fishing. 90 minutes NE of Minneapolis. (715) 327-8564,


Program Staff Assertive men and women needed to supervise, provide leadership to, and develop mentoring relationships with clients in our residential program. A good driving record is required. Looking for ON-CALL employees - for both Long Term and Short Term/Men & Women’s Programs. 1 – Women’s Recovery Coach, FT + benefits.

Maintenance Technician Skilled individual needed to help maintain facilities. Experience with some, or all of the following is required: Boilers, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, construction, remodeling, refrigeration, and/or controls. A clean driving record is required. FT + benefits

Female missionary seeks private quarters in a home. Mary (651) 492-8215.

For complete up-to-date job, internship and volunteer opportunities, visit

Retired Christian nurse seeks apartment in home, duplex or small apartment/condo building. Rosanne: (612) 861-3043.

Interested individuals may obtain an application or request more information by calling (612) 373-3366, emailing a request to, or visiting our website at and clicking on the Job Opportunities link.

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CHAMPLIN — Dr. Robert Albers will lead the “Power of Forgiveness in Healing� seminar on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Servant of Christ Lutheran Church in Champlin. The event includes childcare and a meal; there is no charge, but RSVPs are required. Albers will discuss forgiveness and how it can impact lives and relationships. The seminar will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. To RSVP, call (763) 427-5070 or email

Nov. 17 and 24 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Parking is free. In addition, the university will perform “Songs of the Season,� its annual Christmas concert, several times during December. The concert includes more than 140 vocalists and a full orchestra. Admission is $10 for this event, which will be held in the Trask Worship Center on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4:00 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.ncufinearts. com.

University to perform classic musical

Seminar to address caring skills

MINNEAPOLIS — The College of Fine Arts at North Central University will perform the classic “The Sound of Music� several times this month in the Small Chapel on campus. Show dates include Nov. 14 – 16 and Nov. 21 – 23 at 7:00 p.m.; Nov. 16 and 23 at 1:00 p.m.; and

BLOOMINGTON — Youth Leadership will sponsor the seminar “Counsel: Sharpening your care giving skills� Nov. 18 – 19 at its training center in Bloomington. The event will feature Tiger McLuen and Kevin Harrington, Ph.D., L.P.

Seminar to address forgiveness

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The seminar will address the danger areas of counseling, how to be more focused and intentional, and practical skills to guide you during a crisis, among other topics. The cost for the two-day training event is $225. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, visit

Songwriters group to hold workshop SAINT PAUL — The Minnesota Association of Christian Songwriters will host a workshop on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2:00 p.m. at Frontier Fellowship in St. Paul. The group asks those who attend to be prepared with an original track— sing it live or bring a recording of it—and perform it in front of the group. The purpose of the Minnesota Association of Christian Songwriters is to “encourage, educate and equip songwriters who are called to use their gifts of music and lyrics to glorify God, edify and point the way to Jesus Christ.� For more information about the group and the songwriters workshop, visit

Group to hold lecture on Reformation MINNEAPOLIS — MacLaurinCSF will host the lecture “The Unintended Reformation: How a religious revolution secularized society� on Friday, Dec. 13 at noon at Heller Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The event is part of the group’s Visiting Scholars Lecture Series.

Brad Gregory, from the University of Notre Dame, will give the lecture, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota. For more information on the event, visit

Life skills seminar offered SAINT PAUL — The Frontier Fellowship East Side Equipping Center will host a Life Skills seminar on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at 1139 Payne Avenue in St. Paul. Bill Johnston will lead the seminar, which will focus on personal finances. The seminars are designed to help individuals and families of St. Paul’s east side. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call (651) 283-5116 or email info@

Ernie Haase coming to Benson Great Hall SAINT PAUL — Ernie Haase and Signature Sound will perform a Christmas concert at Benson Great Hall on the campus of Bethel University on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $25. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit or call (651) 638-6333.

National choir to perform Christmas

concert MINNEAPOLIS — The National Lutheran Choir recently announced its 2013-2014 season, which includes several performances of its Christmas Festival “A Light No Dark Can Overcome.� The performance includes carols, anthems, poetry and Scripture. The Christmas performance will take place Dec. 13 at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis and also on Dec. 14 at 8:00 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (612) 722-2301.

Triple Espresso to host ‘Clean Comedy Night’ MINNEAPOLIS — Triple Espresso will host the KKMS “Clean Comedy Night� on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis. The popular local comedy group includes playwrights Bill Arnold, Michael Pearce Donley and Bob Stromberg. Tickets are $22.50 and are available by visiting In addition, KKMS is sponsoring a concert by Christian artist Jaci Velasquez at Edinbrook Church in Brooklyn Park on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $25. Finally, KKMS will host its first annual “Women in Ministry� event at the Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport on the same day at 11:00 a.m. The event is free and open to all women. For more information on these events and to purchase tickets, visit

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ICC trains students to become ‘cultural communicators’ By Scott Noble TWIN CITIES — Leadership is difficult. So is being an effective communicator, whether that involves speaking to hundreds of people or talking one on one with a colleague. As a believer, you are always on stage—so to speak—in that people are observing you to see if you live by the beliefs you claim. These challenges face all Christians, but the Institute for Cultural Communicators aims to teach students—ages 6 to 18—how to become effective cultural communicators for the truth of the gospel. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, including public and private schools and those who are homeschooled. “Our general approach is that we want to mentor Christian leaders,� said Marci Anderson, a volunteer with ICC. “Our mission statement is that we want to equip Christians to shape the future through authentic leadership and cultural communication.� ICC was founded in 1997 and has since grown to include dozens of chapters across the U.S., including in Minnesota, where the chapter was officially launched in 2009. Each chapter meets twice a month—sometimes more—and focuses on training and community. “We meet on a regular basis, so we’re in a pretty tight community, which allows us to work on character traits in our students—and the adults as well,� Anderson said. “We do that through the public speaking platform. So we’re working through portfolios that help the students learn how to give presentations. Our goal isn’t just for them to learn how to give a presentation in front of their little community, but to get out and bridge to the larger community so that we can establish relationships.� Those relationships include preschools, nursing homes, private schools, public schools, library programs and other organizations or arenas. In addition to communication skills, ICC hopes its students gain significant leadership experience.

A student instructor with six to 10 year olds at the recent ICC conference in Minnesota sharing what they learned during the event.

The organization believes leadership is more than just securing a following; “authentic leadership comes from practicing service, treating others with respect and putting the needs of others before our own,� according to the ICC website. Students receive opportunities to develop these leadership skills and traits through chapter meetings. They progress through a leadership ladder, which allows them to progressively gain more opportunities to demonstrate their leadership abilities. Anderson’s son is currently a student leader in ICC and has gradually gained more leadership opportunities. “You have some criteria that you have to meet and then you can become a leader in the chapter,� she said. “That will involve helping set agendas, plan the activities for the meeting, kind of put you at a little more responsibility for the 20 or 30 students we have in the chapter. After that, they move on to the ability to help put on the conferences. So my son is now what they call a student instructor, so he actually helps run these conferences. The conferences are totally student-run.� As they develop through the leadership program, students gain



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In September, ICC hosted its Communicators for Christ conference at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mounds View. The event utilized activities, workshops and exercises to train participants in its focused programs. When students participate in ICC, Anderson said, she commonly hears the refrain about the difficulty of leadership and the variety of personalities that can become effective leaders. “[It] takes all different types of people to be leaders,� she said. “[The students] realize that public speaking is not just about getting up and speaking in front of a group of people. Communication is important when you are one on one. One thing we like to tell the students is that you are always on the platform whether or not you are physically in front of a group of people; people are always looking to you and watching what you are doing.�

Anderson recalled an opportunity a group of ICC students had to utilize their leadership and communication training in a real-world experience. An ICC intern group was in New York City waiting for a ferry. As the wait time stretched longer and longer, the students began to use their storytelling skills to entertain those gathered. The group never mentioned Christ but after a period of time, some of those waiting began to ask the students who they were and why they were doing this. Those questions opened up the door for them to share the gospel. “Isn’t that what we want to do?� Anderson said. “We want to develop those relationships so that we have the opportunity to speak truth.�

For more information about ICC, its chapters and its events, visit

Shroud of Turin expert to highlight conference Christian Examiner staff report BLOOMINGTON — The cloth is more than 14 feet long, three-anda-half feet across, and it bears the image of a man—a crucified man. And it’s been at the center of scientific and theological debates for decades. Many believe the Shroud of Turin, as this cloth is called, is the burial cloth of Jesus, while others question its authenticity. On Saturday, Nov. 16, Shroud expert Barrie Schwortz will join an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls for the annual fall conference of Good News for Israel (GNFI). The free event will take place at Emmaus Church in Bloomington. Schwortz was a member of the famous scientific team—Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP)— that examined the Shroud in 1978. As a professional photographer specializing in scientific and technical work, Schwortz was asked to accompany the team, which examined the Shroud for 120 straight hours at its location in northern Italy. He served as the official documenting photographer. Schwortz was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home and felt a bit

uncomfortable about being asked to study the Shroud, which he believed was of more interest to Christians. Eventually, however, his interest was piqued, and he decided to join the research team. For nearly 20 years after his research expedition, Schwortz did not believe in the authenticity of the Shroud. It wasn’t until 1995, he said, that he came to believe that the Shroud was in fact real and that it was the burial cloth used for Jesus. “I can say who it’s from,� Schwortz said. “I can say it’s from Jesus. We know that the Romans crucified thousands of people. As far as we know, only one guy in history who proclaimed himself king of the Jews was given this nasty thorn bush smashed onto his head. It was just a form of added humiliation and torture, because it cut the scalp all over the place and there are blood stains all over the scalp of this man.� The Shroud, Schwortz believes, is replete with details that point to its authenticity. “It bears the image, ventral and dorsal, front and back, of a crucified man who has been scourged, speared, capped with a crown of thorns; and the wounds of crucifixion are also vis-

ible,� he said. “It also contains blood stains, water stains, burns and scorches because the cloth itself was damaged in a fire in 1532. “Basically, there is a lot of stuff going on on the Shroud, but the primary importance is the image, which runs down the center of the cloth, ventral and dorsal. Which is forensically accurate; it is not painted on, because our team examined [it] in great detail, including chemistry spectroscopy. There is no paint or pigments on the Shroud that form the image.� Schwortz said there is not one particular item or fact that convinces him of the Shroud’s authenticity but the accumulation of data, scientific and historical. New Testament scholar Dr. Craig Evans will also speak at the GNFI event, talking about the Messiah as revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The annual fall conference for Good News for Israel will take place Saturday, Nov. 16 at Emmaus Church in Bloomington. The event is free, but a free-will offering will be taken. There is limited seating, so for more information or to register, visit www. or call (952) 926-7369.

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Continued from page 1 “We’re going to love people,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we endorse everything they’ve done; doesn’t mean that we accept [what they’re currently practicing]; but we’re going to be for people: for God and for people.” In 2000, after he had been serving in the pastorate and various other ministerial roles, Morrison believes God began to form in him a strategy that would eventually be birthed into an organization. This strategy focused on other ways to communicate the gospel besides just using words—a strategy deeply rooted in his upbringing and in his previous ministry experience. “Of course proclamation is one way to advance the Gospel, and it’s a very biblical way,” he said. “It’s not to in any way dilute that. But in addition, God was really putting on my heart not only the eminence of evangelism but the patience of evangelism. I call it, instead of fishing pole evangelism, ‘weaving the net,’ capturing communities.”

Weaving a net takes time, Morrison said. But the end result of this strategy is powerful—so much so that it has the potential to impact—or capture, as Morrison puts it—entire communities for Christ. So in 2003, Morrison put this strategy into action by founding Good in the ’Hood, a nonprofit organization that aims to impact lives by simple acts of kindness. The organization partners with several other groups in order to help meet the needs of urban communities. In addition to providing food assistance, Good in the ’Hood helps provide mobile dental services, prescription discounts, reading and literacy assistance, and advocacy help. These simple acts of goodness and kindness, Morrison said, are their strategy for reaching communities for Christ. The acts aren’t just random, they are intentional and focused, which are key elements. And also user-friendly. “The goal behind it is simple initiatives that anyone can do,” he said. “Things that [are] reaching the least of these—with the primary emphasis being urban/

suburban communities. Our goal [is] not only to do handouts, of course, but hand-ups.” In order to accomplish all these goals, the organization relies heavily on volunteers—of which roughly 50 percent of them are clients. Morrison sees volunteering on the part of clients as a way to provide a sense of ownership and maturity—in a way, a form of discipleship. “We take recipients and turn them into volunteers or givers,” Morrison said. “We take givers and turn them into investors, [those who mentor others].” Good in the ’Hood—while located at Cedarcrest Church in Bloomington where Morrison serves as pastor—is not geographically restricted. The organization has satellite offices that allow it to reach more people across a wide variety of communities. This fall, and into the winter, Good in the ’Hood will focus on three specific outreaches. The first is a collaborative effort with the venerable Union Gospel Mission. “We’re the Minneapolis distributor for all the Thanksgiving bas-

kets,” Morrison said. “We’re going to distribute 3,000 baskets in the Hennepin County area, working with about 12-15 satellite partners.” The organization will also help provide 700 hot Thanksgiving meals for families. Second, Good in the ’Hood will provide toys for more than 500 children as part of the Toys for Tots program. Distribution will occur at Little Earth United Tribes and at Cedarcrest Church. Finally, the organization will emphasize its Adopt-A-Family program and aims to serve 75 families this year. “We find sponsors who will take on families,” Morrison said. “Our goal is not toxic charity … our goal is to create relational proximity, so we try to do it with a sense of dignity. Last year we [connected] 53 families with sponsors: churches, individuals …. We had businesses get behind it.” The goal is to connect two families and not only provide food and possibly gifts, but also to help develop relationships. Through these multiple programs and touch points, Morrison hopes clients will develop a level

of trust with Good in the ’Hood, a bond that will encourage confidence. “We know that the more times you see someone, the more times trust is built,” he said. That trust, Morrison believes, can eventually lead to opportunities to share the gospel. “Serving people food and resources and programs—using a baseball term—is like going to first base,” Morrison said. “It’s a hit. But what I want to see happen, I want to see us move people forward—for this life to be able to help them to get engaged as a giver and an investor. They are not just receiving services; now they are giving back. “That to me is moving them forward, and ultimately for eternity I want to see them come into a relationship with Christ where their faith now causes them to disciple or mentor others. That’s the home run.” For more information about Good in the ’Hood, its programs and how to volunteer, visit www.

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